New Islamabad airport to cost Rs 81 bn, Senate told


ISLAMABAD: Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Aftab Ahmed Sheikh on Friday informed the Senate that per revised PC-1, new Islamabad International Airport would cost around Rs 81 billion and an amount of Rs 75.887 billion has been spent on the project so far.

Replying to various supplementary questions during question hour, the minister said the project was nearing completion and would be inaugurated soon.

He said that the airport was also being connected with a network of roads leading to different parts of the city. Work on Metro Bus project was also being carried out on fast track basis to provide best facilities to the commuters, he added.

The minister further said that construction on a small dam had also been completed to fulfill water requirement of the new airport, while adding that 11 tube wells had also been installed for the purpose of water management.

Replying to another query, the minister said that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights on New York route have been suspended after registering annual losses worth Rs 1 billion. A sub-committee had been set up to review affairs of PIA, besides appointing new chief of the airline, he added.

He said the government was making all out efforts to address the problems being faced by PIA, while adding that more aircrafts were being acquired on dry and wet leases to expand flight operations.

Replying to another query, Aftab Ahmed said that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) was complying with the Performance Standards (Distribution) Rules (PSDR) 2005.

He further said that NEPRA was carrying out monitoring activities of K-Electric on regular basis since the last few years. He said that during monitoring/verification of media reports regarding unscheduled load-shedding in Karachi in 2015, it was established that K-Electric failed to provide uninterrupted power supply to its consumers on a non-discriminatory basis.

Based on the monitoring results in 2015, NEPRA initiated legal proceedings and after the completion of the due process, a fine of Rs 10 million was imposed on K-Electric, he added.

Similarly, the minister said that the same situation was also noted while carrying out monitoring activities in 2016, and accordingly, K-Electric was strictly directed to follow the requirements of Performance Standards (Distribution) Rules 2005.

He also said that NEPRA had taken serious notice of all major power breakdowns that occurred in Karachi in 2017, and had acquired a detailed report regarding power outages from K-Electric.

An explanation had also been issued to K-Electric in connection with disruption of power supply on June 28, he added.